In 2018, 6% of Texans reported heavy levels of drinking (15 or more drinks per week), and 17% reported binge drinking (5 or more drinks in one occasion). When high levels of alcohol are consumed, the body will start to detox from the alcohol as soon as 6 hours after the last drink. Detoxing and withdrawal go hand in hand and can end up being an unpleasant experience.
Here at SUN Behavioral Health Houston, we offer services for those looking to detox from alcohol. Our trained and licensed staff can help assist you or your loved ones on the road to recovery. We offer medications to help with withdrawal in combination with therapy and other treatment-based, skill-building activities to help you reach your goals.
Alcohol detox is the process of removing alcohol from the body after long-term or heavy consumption. The body has a very intelligent system for removing different toxins and substances when needed, and it starts the process within a few hours of the last drink you consume.
Detoxing from alcohol lasts an average of 72 hours. This time can be impacted based on things like metabolism, age, and your history of alcohol consumption and other substances. Withdrawal starts in conjunction with detox, but it lasts much longer, up to a few weeks after the last drink is consumed.
Here are just some of the reasons why it’s not safe for a person to detox at home:
If you have any of these concerns or histories, you should bring them up with a medical professional before you detox.
Detox is a great first step to recovery. If you’re still actively drinking, it’s not possible to recover from AUD.
Detoxing helps the body readjust to not having alcohol in the system. When alcohol is consumed on a regular basis, the brain and other organs become used to it. . When alcohol is taken away, it can take time for the body to recover, but this process is very important to healing and long-term recovery
Not everyone who detoxes from alcohol does so intentionally. Since the detox process can begin as quickly as 6 hours after your last drink is consumed, someone might start going through withdrawal and detox without realizing it.
In some instances, this can lead to severe side effects which require medical attention. Here are some of the things you might experience during detox:
While seizures can occur within the first 24hours of withdrawal, these are sometimes a sign of a condition known as delirium tremens, which is not an uncommon side effect for those who had a history of long-term alcohol consumption.
Delirium tremens can be severe. If your loved one is experiencing confusion, hypertension, seizures, or hallucinations while detoxing - seek help immediately.
Withdrawal is caused by an absence of a substance that the body has grown accustomed to or is dependent on. Alcohol alters the brain’s communication pathways over time. The brain and body adjust to this “new normal.”. When the substance is removed, a variety of side effects often occur as the body reacts.
Luckily, there are many medications that can be used to help those that are experiencing alcohol withdrawal. These medications help manage the side effects during the withdrawal period.
The process of detoxing from alcohol starts as soon as you finish your last drink. While this time frame can vary from person to person depending on many factors, here is an average timeline you will see during the detox and withdrawal process.
The body’s healing process when recovering from long-term AUD can be much longer than a few weeks. Organs such as the liver, pancreas, and even your mouth will slowly start to recover the longer it’s been since your detoxification has finished. Some people experience weight loss and even find that their skin appears to be healthier over time. Stopping alcohol consumption can also lower your risks of various forms of cancer, such as oral or liver.
Our goal at SUN Behavioral Health is to ensure that our community thrives. We strive to help educate and support our patients and their families during the recovery journey. We know that everyone’s road to recovery is different, which is why we offer different services to give our patients options.
Detoxing is the first step to recovery. Afterward, you and the medical professionals working with you will determine what level of care will best suit you on your continued journey. Our two primary services are inpatient and outpatient.
With inpatient treatment, you’d stay at our facility 24/7. This is a safe environment where you’ll be surrounded by medical professionals whose goal is to ensure your comfort and safety. You’ll also get the opportunity to recover alongside people who are going through the same thing as you. During the stay, both individual and group therapy sessions are held in order to help you learn new skills and unlearn old habits.
Outpatient treatment is when you’d only come into the facility a few times a week, but you’d stay at home and continue working or going to school. We also feel it’s important to address co-occurring disorders when treating those with AUD. Co-occurring disorders are when someone has both a substance use disorder (in this case AUD) and a mental illness. Many times, the two can impact each other and we feel it’s important to address both during treatment in order to best help our patients have a successful outcome.
The body works to heal many things after you stop drinking, such as rebuilding your immune system, working to repair your liver, and altering your brain to adjust to not having alcohol in your system anymore. Some people also notice changes such as weight loss, increased energy, and better-looking skin.
While the detox process finishes after only a few days, recovery from alcoholism can vary from person to person. Withdrawal typically lasts a few weeks, but it takes longer than that to relearn certain behaviors and for organs to heal.
AWS is the collection of side effects during the withdrawal from alcohol. This primarily occurs in those who have a history of long-term alcohol use. Some of the more serious side effects of AWS include hallucinations, delirium tremens, and seizures.
The capable team at SUN Houston has been serving our community for years. Reach out to begin your journey to recovery.